Is it legal to work full-time for almost 2 years but yet still get paid as contract labor?

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Is it legal to work full-time for almost 2 years but yet still get paid as contract labor?

I have made over $20,000 this year. Can the employeer have 12 out of 14 employees on contract labor full-time?

Asked on December 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not what percentage of workers are independent contractors (contract labor), or how long anyone has been an independent contractor; the issue is whether a given worker meets the tests for truly being an independent contractor. It doesn't matter how the employer wants to pay them or what it wants to call them--if they do not meet the test to be an independent contractor, they are an employee...and conversely, if they meet the test, they can be an independent contractor for years or decades.

To see the tests in detail, so you can see how you measure up, go to the U.S. Department of Labor website.

In brief, an independent contractor is "independent": he or she generally sets his or her hours; determines how to do his or job; usually has more than one client; provides own tools and training; and is not micromanaged. Think about a "contractor" working on your home, as an analogy--you hire the contractor to do a job, but then get out of the contractor's way and let him determine how to do it.

On the other hand, employees work hours set by their employer, and are told what to do when and how to do their jobs.


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